Prosecutors want former Gov. John G. Rowland to serve more than three years in prison for his recent felony conviction. In a court filing, they described Rowland as arrogant, power-hungry, and disdainful of clean election laws.
“This desire was so powerful that Mr. Rowland once again cast aside the public good and his legal obligations to satisfy his own arrogance and hunger for being at the center of political action,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.
U.S. Attorneys are seeking a punishment of between 40 and 46 months in prison for Rowland’s second corruption conviction. A jury found him guilty in September of conspiring to hide his work on congressional campaigns from federal regulators.
In their sentencing memo, prosecutors reminded Judge Janet Bond Arterton, who will sentence Rowland at a hearing on Jan. 7, that a decade ago the former governor “resigned his office in disgrace, pled guilty to federal corruption charges and served 10 months in federal prison” for a conspiracy to receive illegal gifts connected to state business.
During that case, prosecutors initially agreed to seek a sentence of between 15 and 21 months as part of his plea deal but they changed their minds after they said Rowland refused to take responsibility for his actions. This time, they are seeking to ratchet up Rowland’s sentence in light of his history and because they say he obstructed their investigation.
“In the Government’s view, Mr. Rowland is an individual who simply refuses to ‘play it straight,’ because he delights in the illicit, dark side of politics where rules are for suckers, the public good is an afterthought, the game is all that matters and he is the indispensable player of that game,” the U.S. Attorneys wrote. “The public humiliation of his resignation and the 2004 prosecution did nothing to change Mr. Rowland’s outlook, nor did the 10-month prison term imposed by Judge Dorsey.”
Rowland’s past conviction played a large role in the government’s recommended sentence.
“In the Government’s view, however, the most critical sentencing factors — the nature of Mr. Rowland’s conduct, his history and characteristics and the need to deter him and others — all suggest that it would be unwarranted for Mr. Rowland to receive a sentence below 38 months,” they wrote.
Last year, Arterton sentenced Robert Braddock Jr., an ex-campaign aide to former House Speaker Chris Donovan, to 38 months in prison for conspiring to hide the source of campaign donations from election regulators.
In the Rowland sentencing memo, prosecutors pointed to Braddock’s sentence, which was recently upheld by an appeals court.
“Here, unlike Mr. Braddock, Mr. Rowland has previously been convicted of federal corruption charges. Further, unlike Mr. Braddock, Mr. Rowland’s conduct spanned two elections, and he has now been convicted of two counts of obstruction of justice, in addition to the elections violations,” the wrote.
In a separate document Thursday, Rowland’s lawyers asked Arterton for a sentence of less than 18 months. They pointed to dozens of letters of support from Rowland’s friends, family members, and former colleagues.
“John has already been punished greatly by being criminally prosecuted for alleged conduct that is normally addressed civilly. What he had rebuilt following his prior conviction, he has now lost,” Rowland’s attorney’s wrote.
Rowland’s convictions stem from efforts to hide from regulators compensation for work he did on Lisa Wilson-Foley’s 2012 congressional campaign and for trying to arrange a similar scheme with Mark Greenberg’s 2010 congressional campaign.